Also thanks to General Washington who served us with uncommon sense and guidance.
Somebody ought to write a book on the timeless wisdom of George Washington in public service., And then force every congressman to do a term paper on it before they are allowed to vote.
I think George is the greatest American. This can be measured in what was said about him by contemporaries. Napoleon said on St. Helens, " All they wanted was another George Washington". Lafayette said " George Washington was not the greatest man of the Revolution, he was the revolution". Lafayette named son after George Washington. King George said "If George Washington does not become king, he is the greatest man alive". Lighthorse Harry Lee (Robert E Lee's grandfather), said about Washington " First in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of his country men". He alone had the stature and attitude to get this country going. He knew the power that was required of the central government for an armed forces, make the country strong instead of weak confederation of states, and the money needed to keep America strong. He was also very smart to pick Alexander Hamilton as his right hand man during the revolution and Secretary of the Treasury during his administration. Jefferson and the other slave owning founding fathers (except Adams), wanted to have a nation of agricultural plutocrats with distrust towards merchants and financial matters. I don't think George or Hamilton would be too surprised at our government today. They (Washington and Hamilton) are the ones who started us to the greatness we are today. Washington was alone among the founding fathers to free his slaves upon his death.
George was a smart guy. He is famous for refusing his general's pay during the war - taking only a $1 a year instead - which was worth about $4,000 a year in dollars of the time. He did, however, accept money for this personal expenses which totaled about $4 million during the war in dollars of the time. For example, he charged $167 for scouting up and down the Potomac River during the course of an afternoon. I can't see how he could have spent that money; seems his "expenses" were a little more than mere reimbursements. Washington was one of the richest men in America after the war. He used the money to build the largest distillery in America run by his slaves. But don't try to shake his hand to congratulate him, he never shook hands as he thought it was beneath him to contact regular folks like that. His expense book is in the Library of Congress, and probably online as well.
At the time of his death, Washington’s land, slaves, house, horses and personal belongings were worth about $525,000, which has been estimated to be worth $525 million today.
In 1996, a study to calculate the 100 richest people ever in the U.S. ranked Washington 59th, the only president on the list. His net worth was estimated to be 1/777, or 0.13 percent, of GDP. By that measure, John D. Rockefeller was the wealthiest American ever. His wealth equaled 1.5 percent of GDP. Bill Gates worth about $60 billion, or about 0.4 percent of GDP, would be in the top ten.
Washington’s salary as president was 2 percent of the Federal budget in 1789, which would amount to $60 billion today. To be fair, the budget was different 225 years ago, when there was no income tax and most federal government spending was defense. Even so, 2 percent of today’s defense budget would be $2 billion per year.
For his time, Washington was incredibly wealthy, but he didn’t have air conditioning or toilets. He got strep throat riding his horse in the snow and died two days later. Today, a common antibiotic would have had him back on his horse within days.